Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Psalm 31 (NIV)
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. 2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. 3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. 4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. 5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God. 6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the Lord. 7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. 8 You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place. 9 Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. 10 My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. 11 Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends— those who see me on the street flee from me. 12 I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery. 13 For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life. 14 But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. 16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. 17 Let me not be put to shame, Lord, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame and be silent in the realm of the dead. 18 Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous. 19 How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. 20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues. 21 Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege. 22 In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. 23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. 24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
In what situation do you need to be strong and take heart?
Abba, Father. There are times in life where I am stretched further than my abilities and my challenged to the edge of my faith. During these times of fear, loss, sickness and loss of control I hold on to You for survival. When I see chaos, You see a plan. when I see no way out, You see a door. When I see failure, You see success. When I see ashes, You see beauty. You have split the red sea, closed the lions mouth and walked in the fiery furnace. You have blessed the barren with children, You have raised the dead and You have healed the sick. You have conquered kingdoms and lead Your people to victory. You listen to the broken hearted and hear the prayers of those who are crushed in spirit. When I am out of control, You are in control. You are a mighty God and there is nothing that You cannot do. In my impatience it feels like You have forgotten me but Your timing is always perfect. You have seen the affliction and know the anguish of my heart. Others laugh at me and cause me pain, but You are always a comfort to my soul. You give me reassurance of Your presence. Thank You Lord for Your loving hand on me. Even if my prayers are not answered in the way I have hoped, I know that You answer them with Your wisdom and grace. If my thoughts, desires and plans are not in Your will, You lead and guide me in Your ways. You preserve those who are true to You, but to the proud, you pay back in full. You hate evil and deception. You will come to my rescue. Even if I face loss, the unknown and death, You are still my rock and my fortress and in You I trust. You are my God. I wait patiently to see Your mighty hand move to rescue me. Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God. In You I am strong. I put all of my hope in You. Amen